Lakshmana – Valmiki Ramayana

lakshmanaLakshmana or Lakshman was son of Sumitra, third wife of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya . He was regarded as the avatar, in a secondary form to Ram’s main appearance. In some Hindu traditions he is considered to be an avatar of Shesha the thousand-headed Naga.

Lord Vishnu rests upon the Ananta Sesha in the primordial ocean of milk (Kshirasagara). Seshanaga was the Lord of Serpents, who was incarnated on the earth in the form of Lakshmana in ‘Treta’ yuga. In ‘Dwapara’ Yuga, Seshanaga incarnated as Bala Ram. Seshanaga is regarded as eternal incarnation to give company to Lord Vishnu in all his avatars.

Lakshmana – Birth & Marriage

Lakshmana is one who’d good qualities by birth; and he so controlled his senses which he had acquired further good qualities. He was Sumitra’s son and was the twin brother of Shatrughan and half brother of Rama and Bharata. He was specially attached with Rama, and the duo were inseparable.

From his very birth, throughout his childhood, he never knew separation from Rama. He was such that in the first couple of days after his birth, he was not taking food and was weeping for the sake of Rama.

He married the younger sister of Sita named Urmila.

Rama’s Exile

At the beginning of their exile, Bharata entered the forest to persuade Rama to return to Ayodhya and rule as king. Lakshmana initially mistook his intentions; he jumped to the conclusion that Bharata was approaching with malicious intent. Rama, however, knew of Bharat’s love for him and explained to Lakshmana that Bharata would never try to harm them.

He served Ram and Sita during the exile, building them a home in the forest and devotedly standing guard during the night, and accompanying them on tiring journeys and long passages of lonely forest life without complaint or care for himself.

One day Ravan’s sister Surpanakha saw Rama and proposed to marry him, but he declined, stating that he had vowed to have only one wife. She saw Lakshmana and asked him to marry her. He also declined. She was angered by their rejections, so she insulted Sita and threatened to eat her. Lakshman came to Sita’s defense and cut off Surpanakha’s nose in anger.

Feeling humiliated, Surpanakha left the forest and visited her brother Ravana, King of Lanka. He planned to kidnap Sita with the help of Maricha who had the motto to distract Rama and Lakshmana away from the hut so that Ravana could kidnap Sita. Maricha, assuming the form of a golden deer, captivated Sita’s attention. Enthralled by the beauty of the deer, Sita pleaded with Rama to capture it. Ram aware that this was the play of the demons, was unable to dissuade Sita from her desire and chased the deer into the forest, leaving Sita under Lakshman’s guard.

When Ram killed the deer, the mysterious demon Maricha cried out copying Ram’s voice and called Sita and Lakshmana for help. Although he knew that Ram was unvanquishable and beyond any danger but he had to go as Sita was in panic and urged him to go to help Ram immediately. He however used his mystical power to draw the Lakshman Rekha, a perimeter line across the hut and asked Sita not to cross it. Any unwanted invader who crossed it would be killed instantly and thus the Lakshman Rekha would serve for Sita`s safety.

Sita however, out of compulsion of religious duty and compassion for a poor brahmin, who was actually the disguised Ravana, crossed the line to give him alms. Not aware of the devious plan of her guest, Sita was then forcibly captivated by Ravan in his Pushpaka Viman.

In the forest, they made friendship with Sugriva and Hanuman and set towards Lanka. Sugriva’s monkey army helped Rama. During the war between Rama and Ravana, he killed Indrajit and Atikaya, who were the sons of Ravana. Before he killed Indrajit, Lakhshmana became unconscious by Indrajit’s Nagapasha.

After Exile

Lakshmana disobeyed Rama only once during the lifetime. Yama came to meet Ram. Before they started their conversation, Yama asked for uninterrupted privacy. Before the conversation began, Yama gave Rama strict instructions that their dialogue was to remain confidential, and anyone who entered the room was to be relieved of their life.

Rama asked him to guard the door of the room. In the meantime when he was standing as a guard the angry sage Durvasa came and wanted to meet Rama. He politely asked him to wait for a while until the conversation was complete. Durvasa felt humiliated and was about to curse that would destroy Rama, Lakshman and the city of Ayodhya at once. He thought it would be better to enter the room than to have the sage’s curse.

Thus only once he disobeyed Ram’s order for the sake of other’s well-being. Inorder to fulfill his brother’s promise, Lakshmana went to the banks of the river Sarayu resolved on giving up the world through penance.

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